FOOTBALL clubs from Wagga and Albury have been invited to take part in a rich new pre-season competition which is being dubbed as the round ball game's answer to the West Wyalong Knockout Cup.
The two-day tournament is the brainchild of the Yoogali Football Club and will kick off on March 16 at Noe Santolin Oval after receiving the thumbs up from the Griffith District Football Association.
There is substantial prizemoney on offer with YFC and sponsors the Real Juice Company putting up $5000 for the winner, $1000 for the runner-up and $500 for third.
That puts the 16-team competition in the same league as the West Wyalong Knockout Cup, which offers $8000 for first place.
"We're hoping this becomes an annual thing and we hope it succeeds," YFC president John Sergi said.
"We want this to be a real family day. There'll be entertainment, a jumping castle and of course some great games being played."
The nine local first-grade sides will be given first preference to enter the cup, leaving at least seven spots open for out-of-town entrants.
Last season's Football Wagga grand finalists, Lake Albert and Tolland - the two clubs that have shown the most interest in joining a prospective Riverina-wide league - have already been offered the opportunity.
Invitations have already been sent out to the Wagga, Albury and South West Slopes associations.
GDFA president Matt Curran applauded YFC for taking the initiative of establishing the cup and said it could position the city as the focal point of the sport in the region.
"It's a good taste test for these Wagga clubs so they can see what our association is about, what the talent is like here and where we're headed," he said.
"John's just throwing it open so we're trying to help him chase some clubs and get those filled.
"We've got the clubs and facilities here for something like this so hopefully YFC can put on a good show and it can build from there.
"It'll be good for the city as well, to bring seven other clubs to town for the whole weekend."